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December 18, 2020 1:00 am
Stu chats with Ryan Helfenbein, Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement at Liberty University and Executive Director of the Falkirk Center for Faith & Liberty, about separation of church and state, the election, and raising up the next generation of Christians.
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This is Jim Brown from the masculine dirty podcast where we explore relationship instead a religion every week your chosen Truth Network podcast starting in just a few seconds to enjoy it. Sure, but most of all, thank you for listening you for choosing The Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network separation of church and state prayer in the public schools. How do Christians get their arms around the political scene. Your vote for Tromp or Biden. What about Christians who are professing born-again that were just completely anti-Tromp. What about the vice versa that were trumpet fact you think they worship Tromp more than they worship God.
What about this idea white nationalism that major evangelical leaders are accusing other Christians of being well I'm glad that I'm not asking those questions myself. I'm glad my good buddy Ryan healthy mind is with me. Ryan you are the head of the Falkirk center. We are on the campus of Liberty University.
When the largest Christian universities in the world internationally here in Lynchburg Virginia but the Falkirk center you guys really blazed the trail and you're not afraid to lean into those tough questions. We just had a lunch that could have gone for 6% know how we got a tell trying your passion, what you do diminishes the life of one of the things that gospel person I really like the excitement and joy is pressing the word of God, finding every day always been in Scripture, recognizing the application, especially what were facing right now culture, whether political scene cultural scene education, you name it. God is not return void is the word of God is accomplishing the purposes for which God is so people who know here, do you not heard about this yet trying to give Christians condition, courage and moment of retesting like well let me ask you this question going back deeper in your life who is Ryan question so I'm a Texas native people joke all the time is always talk about Texas and God bless text way was born in the Dallas area of the Bible Belt and around great swath of Christianity.
Christian leaders came to faith in Christ and an early age the age of seven, Prestwick, Dallas, the church, with a big going on as you church I was small team unity that developed their people want my great leaders come out of place and the shadow of a great name in 20 century faithful pastor. A lot of people probably not ready nice. His name is W.A. Chris Jerry fall Dallas really Texas is larger than life figure key figure in the conservative resurgence of this in the next convention is a stalwart Bible preacher and I drove to school really shakes my worldview, Jackson's understanding Christian mission in UT Austin studied economics and was it was a pastoral apprentice for J-woman who is the current president is Texas seminary ramblers, and many other wonderful professors and 77 in Kentucky. Fast-forward is working for the governor of Kentucky former Gov. Years later. Every university meeting digital think tank for the 21st century. While the Falkirk center.
We are right now your and I want to dispel some of the myths and I want to get into some of the first, when did you like about you when you met Jesus like when you feel like you grew up with a lot of turn when it when it Ryan really, no cry responded to the gospel message seven years old Christ, the seven heard the gospel preached clip for me Saturday I'll never get cars going over something that my pastor preached recently about trusting the Lord not do that myself. I had to make that commitment and never talk about mom and saying I want to put my faith in Christ on the nasties I said at the time the terminology is growing up fast Jesus in my heart right now since.
Later, as I've grown up in Scripture's Will Is Not Pl. in Texas is asked Jesus in your heart but I my belief in Christ so I prayed, just a quick prayer. I don't center board and I need your son to save me so I kind run from that point where kids very mature normal things that kids do. The rebel disobeying his parents know that the age of 16, 17, 18 the Lord's call of my life. Terms of serving him, recognizing that not just about trusting in Jesus and going and doing what I wanted to actually try to line my goals and missions with what God's ultimate purpose in my life so I submitted to him again and again throughout my teenage years and now you're here, run this is Falkirk center rule powerful influence we been through a tumultuous year with this virus and course the political turmoil and unrest and some battling severe one was selection of an object should be over people. People miss conceive or misperceive you or the Falkirk center River University. What you say to those that are accusing you of being a white nationalistic arm of a bunch of Republicans and you know with with with faith as a backdrop and all that mean there's all kinds of misinformation out there dispel that intelligible really what Falkirk is about is how you do interrelate every aspect of kingdom life into culture and even in the political spectrum right well – that's great question. There are several parts that one is this idea the stone of national national is almost like today. Anything that is remotely patriotic and I mean in the sense of what grandparents or great-grandparents is love of country love of neighbor, love, community my my grandparents generation great-grandparents were volunteers and volunteer for everything.
Preaching service of my greatest funeral is on a B-17 bomber drafted. He volunteered he volunteered to go off to war love this country was willing to give up his life for the country.
Any other people that that is the defining characteristic that generation the grip and the Great Depression was like to go without a lot, wanted for almost everything got provided and the skies were hard hard and people… All the hard hearts all parts passion folks but hard in the sense that they they go through a lot of hardships and not break down mentally or emotionally far cry from from my lineal feet of herself as reputation. Some people, and I pointed this about why nationalism whenever anything is deemed patriotic. Today is a pejorative term now that we've almost turned on its head. Is this myth that you hate everything that means that somehow you don't love your neighbor or that it states all is a racial prejudice that your heart absolutely not even the freest, most prosperous, most generous nation on the face of the planet in the history of the world even really name one better and we flipped everything to be exclusively that this narrative so Christian steward is a responsibility as citizens to steward our God-given rights in a way understand that freedom is never free of sacrifice for our lives for reservation freedom grandparents generation did quite well and also loved the church.
So one of the things is characteristic of my generation was they were willing to give sacrificially save this country to make sure there is freedom, prosperous and they were able to pass on to the next generation. But he also gave sacrificially for the sake of the gospel is one of the existing loss a lot of times today people are like whatever I would give that Corbett given to God right.
I'm not get out of the idle nationalism all really show me what you're doing for the sake of the gospel of the great commission people in your evangelizing reaching showing what you're getting, both financially and of your time and talent so I called Val, most of both lines.
I just think that we become this flaky wishy-washy. Everything should come easy and were not willing to sacrifice for and I think you can love this country be patriotic and even love the Gospel of wealth. Okay that's Ryan health by the Falkirk center were asking the tough question we come back on separation of church and state. Should a Christian run as fast they can away from politics or should Christians be leading in a gracious Christlike way if you don't like one candidate or pedal like your neighbor or your Christian your pastors for why does that mean we what why is there so much hate vitriol last of these tough questions we come back from the campus of liberty University I'm Stu Epperson this is true, thought stated. Is it possible to still love someone to care for their soul. Even if they're in a different political party. Why so much anger, hate, vitriol in the church outside the church. What we doing as Christians to reach our world for Christ as the great commission, fallen under party, often against politics and out of prevailing thoughts. Ryan healthy. Mine is with me. Thank goodness you're here right because these are tough questions were the fall person on the campus of liberty University total rubric. What does the West Falls Church and what your major axiomatic belief is axiomatic. We say Christ is getting churches essential freedom is everything by way church is essential is not a phrase. Were you saying but in the realities of 2020 public health officials and tyrannical governors and lockdown orders. All of a sudden the essential nonessential languages can entered into our taxonomy time now. A church is essential is the essential need ecclesiology assembling the congregation the assembling of the brethren, we are not commanded by Scripture by God not to forsake verse 1025. So in terms of our core axiomatic beliefs we hold that Christ is the ruler of the universe and even though we hold to the two kingdoms were citizens.
The heavenly kingdom were also citizens right thinking is the United States of America, and who called you and I think it's important clarify within all these different areas of Democrat Republican, even within the socioeconomic strata within the evil within the religious strata of nominations. There are racists there are people that are in our propagating evil and that are that are that are white nationalist. Tragically, the world nurse in the world. As believers, what is it you do to challenge the students you do these events of Fulkerson are all over the country.
What what what is the message you're trying to cross pastors to leaders beautiful trusting rank and file the AI can be active in the pro-life movement. I can be active in the in the public policy role, but without being angry and without alienating from my neighbor who might be on the other side of the of the aisle for me.
You can speak the truth in love, just so long as you tell the truth in utility love think you can do both. I think today within evangelicalism.
There's a lot of challenges or some growing pains are going through right now are still trying to find the perfect posture quit trying to find the perfect posture fine conviction reversed stand there true and and speak boldly. I think the problem today is what we are trying to be the PC culture political correctness in the softest form and then you think the most extreme form is like this kind of woke us, which I think is far more rare. Actually, within actually confessing evangelicalism. People are actually following the faith, but is largely something secularists have adopted some people are trying to mimic those behaviors as Christians were supposed to stand on the true is this a problem when you're identifying absolutely we can love our neighbor. Christ commands us to love our enemy, we can love those who are against us who want to revile us and persecute us in every which way. We just need to talk about the least controversial subject. World Donald Trump. a lot of people a lot of even lead lead evangelical people I know basically say if you support Trump you're not Christian or they they basically come out against him in a huge aggressively.
Additionally additionally, they they make to make statements that imply that other Christians who support Trump are automatically called trough this on fire going in Christian which no one in their right mind is going to call him or accuse him of that. But these days they seem to have this white nationalist label upon anyone that supports this guy knows you ran for president in one now. Who knows what happened next all the stuff in here but what is what is your take on and how can you talk to Christians on both sides. Listening right now trying to try to navigate their way to this minefields August leave that right there for you that easy softball is look Donald Trump glyphosate was set aside for a second that you and I don't know his heart and where he is exactly at this moment right now like anybody is listed in this essay, I know the president based on what he said publicly. He's not a Christian because he says that he pay because of his behavior by any sense of horrible thing he's been arrogant.
He's been terrible alone or was the opposite extreme of what will he spoke to know the March for life.
You know he's he's bullish on on Israel. Pro-Israel. He is the most pro-life President-elect on all these great things must be he must be born again Christian.
I'm not here to see one way or another whether Israel is on the essay is for those who thinks he must be your have to be hey look, all I'm saying is throughout history, God's chosen to use men and women, Christian and non-Christian to ultimately promote and do his will, and so you look at throughout history Weatherby Cyrus Everett can answer Pharaoh. All these teens are subject to God's rule. His reign is king's heart is in analog product streams of God's hands. There's to be a respect for whoever's present, whether it's Obama Biden tromped her severe respect.
But there's also it's also in its and it wouldn't be, it doesn't look favorably upon our brothers and sisters in Christ who are co-opting trumpeters, Christian the Christian teddy bear making a Christian in order for him ultimately to do things that help to promote Christian values or principles of morals, citing that when you think about conservative's conservative credentials. His bona fides I think he is been one of the most conservative presidents of our life is men and one pushed Out if they would just take his twitter way you would like to go there for sure right here in the Falkirk center your ultimate agenda young person listing parent listing it's it's a scary generalization to say this but but many Christian leaders believe were losing the next generation. When they believe there there there there there getting a lot more screen time from from groups that are against God, there's so much stuff this phone right here it's conned with all kinds of evil is out of the room, narrative, or they go when there's a lot more time on that yet.
You know we were coming up.
It was TV you watch out for, without which this is a TV. This is everything. What is your challenged parents often about discipling young people. If you're not a parent you are. Because you have a young person in your life just go younger and they will listen to challenge what you trying to Falkirk center Ryan to bring up the next generation of rule change for Christ to reach our welders to half-billion who never heard the gospel. I know your heart. Be sure that there's a munitions there's a is in his impending missions thing. It's so much bigger then elections and rallies and things like that how you speak to that next generation and then the regional well first of all, don't. Don't look at this like a popularity contest liquid. We just need to find a way to win 51% of the minds out there and will win the strength does not come from numbers is come from conviction and borrower terminology Jaco willing's likes to read this book. Total ownership parents if you're listening take total ownership of your children.
Starting with their education or discipleship. You are to be the number one disciple or in their in their life. Your Christian parent not abdicate don't even abdicate that to a youth pastor. God bless you Pastor's love wonderful youth pastors growing up, who took ownership of my my spiritual journey helped shape my conscience and convictions is Christian but ultimately that easy come from you mom you dad well young need to be taking total ownership of that when it comes to education and entertainment in every everything the world is discipling constantly.
I think that you you have been the only him when it comes to TV comes to phone apps tick-tock you think about all these things are out there constantly messing images through language through all kinds of ways children kids are mean disciple you have to own it is not a popularity contest. You have to stand on biblical truth.
Conviction and I think that's the most important thing, and few people change the world. When he stand first for God's word temperature and so I think about. I think about you and how this nation was started.
It wasn't started by Majorie. It was started by a minority of men committed to some essential truths of nonnegotiable and it wasn't just it wasn't just John Locke and Jefferson okay. It was it was the preaching of Jesus Christ, through men like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield to save this country is going to come from churches from pulpits and from Christians who are not bending conviction. The only reason for losing is because we capitulated and said you know what I would have Caesar raise my kids and outsource that education to Caesar outsource education to twitter, twitter, Facebook, tick-tock, socially derail whatever is outsource all that time and give that away and then I'm going to allow just one hour on Sunday morning to be the place where Trent went back not total ownership is where it starts to get to know Ryan, the Falkirk center to make this a podcast as well will make all editors if you subscribe to the truth… Go to describe all her stuff including our interview.
I did appear.not a few months ago Mike Huckabee at a bunch of those guys house. Ralph read my country. Erica taxes Pastor Rob McCoy, Charlie Kurt. There were a lot of people here that we we had your ears well, that was for Fay Summit grading could leave Charlie Kirk's testimony, he really loves Laura that's right, vocalist. I spoke again try to integrate health faces and are integrated with you. We go to the voting booth is a believer leave Jesus outside it's all it's all part of our ethics or are intimately tied to our faith and we can't there's no bifurcation or dichotomy.
There's no separation of the two.
There's no wall of separation when it comes to conviction may also rhyme quickly like this one, believe that a lot of the you talk about the social media lures that our children really being pulled into that whole swamp. Really there is a movie called the social okay which is everyone's courtesy of Mrs. just talks about how they get their talons into you and and kids cater customized minefields for kids to get them hooked early on whether porn withers just that, that insatiable desire for people like yourself and all that so real important, but also wanted to talk about this real quick and I'm not gonna knock a lot of good pair different pairs mind send their kids to secular colleges right love the style is one you what a wonder seller, but I would love to step back and ask you rather than denigrate that because you can go to secular because like you. You turned out right so not to say, never, never, never, never say never write but the same time. Can you speak to the merits of going to a college, university, like one right now where Christ is actually exalted where your professors are like Francis Schaeffer or CS Lewis. They like there at that level and there there deep in the word and their deep in science and the deepening listener deep in liver years has been met thing going on up there. There are legitimate and athletics and letting you talk about the benefits of a thoroughly Christian working parents can decide for years to change the for your outcome of their kids life is a limited opportunity. Yeah why is it so important yeah will immediately talk to some yet but this is important. When I went to Texas and it wasn't that long ago. This is holy at speech codes and safe spaces. I doubt we could do the kinds of things on campus to day that I was able to do little over 15 years ago we had this campus organization is focused strictly on discipleship very similar campus Crusade.
It was run by the local church and in we had a very robust campus ministry present on campus able to advertise our meetings, we were able to speak about biblical truth where Priester Romans one no problem or hassle by churchwide bite by the campus police so to speak of those that are policing those policies on campus today, I would. I would venture to say most college campuses have those things shut down for that kind of thing is totally not indoctrination. Very few liberalizing policies that allow for conservatives, even Christian organizations to be regularly on campus are recognized by student government so that's changed the reason why it would advocate strongly for University Christian education is 100 schools to their word on right now, but something about going there are there are a lot of other schools I would see University where where I'm at is no organic get more time, especially for your students were might be struggling with worldview. With apologetics you say look, I they are not ready. I'm not ready to just throw them to the walls. I know I want them to still have the worldview teaching I want him to go to nursing school. For example, but still have be taught by professors who have a biblical worldview. When it comes to creation becomes when it comes to creation science comes to understanding human anatomy and so were not taught through the lens of leftist indoctrination so that's important right and that might be in the business field might be in the medical field engineering, you name it. University has those in its fully accredited, so I would just say that you know the comfort I three kids right now we homeschool largely because you know we want to take them through the Scripture as we do classical model, but we also keep you catechism right. I would never today, never send them to UT Austin right like what I did have to go back to Time Machine years ago to get that kind of experience and that was back when it was just now only a leftist ideology is always a goal of college. The goal of university is to learn correct. I'm not paying them to teach them right for some to evangelize everywhere I go. A lot of pictures like elected to go there is if all Christians just don't go there, but my point is you're not paying for school not paying your kid to come teach them your paying the schoolteacher to correct and so if I if I pay a liver University yeah there and teach my kids yes about a biblical worldview. Yes and eight and a foundation for Christ's foundation for ethics axiomatic principles are scriptural truths that pervades every aspect of life. If I pay Harvard and teach me that I'm not even human law that whatever life is you know is is is all a chance and and the reason is the answer etc. etc. right so this is so, so one of the things that were reassured folks who might is this is a this is a scholastic institution is committed to scholarship. It is a full-fledged university you get worldview you get exposure to different world philosophies and histories and all that would in any diversity. It just doesn't come with this.
The strings attached of the lawn leftist progressive indoctrination where you know if you don't subscribe to this understanding of thing you're a racist or full of hatred or whatever it might be so. That's the thing that the the academic bona fides are all there and I think that is that's really really important in Christian schools of his reveries.
The bar Christians have improved so kids are going to work more competitive than ever. Academically indicates okay a kid can go to a liberty of Masters of Bob Jones, a school that's committed to God, but will prepare them to be the best CPA will prepare them to be the best doctor does right prepare them to be the best physical trainer, but you're trying to pierce pellets give a caveat here very important acute can go to a big C Christian school true Christian school and could turn out to be a total wretch promises just like a kid to go to a secular school. I have many friends that found Christ in a secular college that would change everything so but but I think the problem is when they grow up, and they have kids there thing.
While I could go have that same experience, but is not the best is a different school you wrap. Let's send them somewhere with their unity where they don't have to go through the training regularly through the yeah have to go through all he knows. Let's police police. Let's pray and ask God yeah where he wants a kid to go in as it is about geode years about jail be said about who offers all you know who gives you better scholarship is about the student debt part of it is it about while were my friends at the country club and is there church can save Mike to go to some obscure little bitty Christian school. I was dishonest or liberty Christian school.
By the way yeah and I hope I turned out okay. I still know there's a lot of there's a lot of skepticism on that fact with no but but to me, people laughed at me when I went out there people what you think and I thought I thought that Masters was alternate soon okay see your reasoning when I think of a liberal arts Christian large education think about okay so you know I got a degree in philosophy or Greek New Testament and in so you like well you did get a CPA can get it. You didn't get a juris doctorate and get an MBA.
You all those things right so there University school of business MBA program. You get a juris doctorate at the school of law right you get a nursing degree, school of osteopathic medicine week we've got all of intercollegiate athletics who have we actually had Division I were very competitive Division I basketball Division I seen the football team this year. Incredible story here. Bring to the top 25 NCAA programs this year so there's a lot of use classically used because of either/or gopher geode E go for a jailbait. I will say I want to UT Austin thinking in terms of jail be to thinking degree one make sure that I have something, but I'm telling you that you can have both his can come here for for the Lord and then ultimately a you want, you know, look is costly to go anywhere.
So when you come here you are graduating with a true baccalaureate or or Masters or whatever it in a field that you can be competitive okay negative you may find a spouse as well to not write our as those are all kinds of things to think about. They got I met my wife. That is a small distribution college and hope, grace, joy, faith followed and I got a grandbaby and God is good, he states what you gotta take were communist.
Let's go back and let's ask him first cousin. I'm trying to Christian piercing before you know you love chair for their team and know you went there and you believe that color whatever the color is gotta be careful here. Step actually does God want my kid to go over there and into a national professor of nuclear physics in their science department that she disciples as they were and what I can get the work right. Shocker left was going on at school like liberty. Other schools were thinking about right website folks and folks were more right so virtual you for the University please go and check it out for those parents were listening right on the edge Senior Junior Senior high school, visit Falkirk center is FALKIRK center.com second for me to tell you please help. So Falkirk is from the movie Braveheart and in folders and actual place was a battle Falkirk in the early 1300s valve for Scottish independence and literally, the name means variegated church so in our name is is really what with the mission of the gospel is about. It states the it's the gospel of Jesus Christ. For every tribe and tongue and nation and so we really are about the church center. Even our title a love that Falkirk center. You're very social so you can watch his videos is an amazing interview on Facebook on Instagram and will do a little clip for the grammar your categorical picture with you and Scott awesome yeah and my little brothers here is a 7 foot tall as we got him and that but I was a little he all he is 20 towers are all of us could meet and then a little shot out for them. Thank you for what you're doing thank you for holding line. Thank you for speaking graciously the truth in love. I love at least that's how you start this conversation, you simply speak the truth and lovingly set apart Christ as Lord.
Be prepared to give an answer Doing some gentleness and respect. First Peter three for my life versus you are in the subway or an ice cream parlor or park bench or wherever you are next to someone who is full, the offices of you politically think offered a chance to love them spiritually to meet their needs right and pulse of the all things all men and we talked about the mass think there's people are completely anti-mass community. They are dispatch the University. The vaccine in time, ask and then there's people are programs that are various there's aggressive people mad at each other with sticks so the question is my will to put a mask on leave whenever Christ, I will want to be really be all things all men and I think this is a great opportunity or cultural attention visual acrimony to come together into for Christians sure love Christ, Brian, thank you God bless you Falkirk center. This is the Truth Network